Working Safely from Scaffolding
Every year nearly 100 fatalities and 10,000 injuries occur on scaffolding across the country, despite numerous safety regulations aimed to prevent such incidents. There are a number of different scaffold types that have different rules and regulations surrounding their assembly, fall prevention requirements, and inspection procedures. The good news is that proper training can prevent almost all scaffold accidents.
Those who work on scaffolding systems are at risk for falls or falling objects that could cause serious or even fatal injuries, and employers can be cited and fined. However, when workers have received proper training and education in scaffold systems, fall protection equipment, and proper scaffold work practices, they can work safely and feel secure, even at elevated heights.
- Falls from elevations due to lack of fall protection;
- Collapse of the scaffold caused by instability or overloading;
- Being struck by falling tools, work materials, or debris; and
- Electrocution, principally due to proximity of the scaffold to overhead power lines.
General rules for scaffolding:
All employees that access scaffolding must receive training.
A competent person shall be clearly identified for all scaffolding work.
Guardrails & toeboards shall be installed on all open sides/ends of scaffolding platforms 6 feet or more above ground or floor level;
o Fall protection is required at a 10’ level above a lower level.
A hard hat must be worn at all times while working on or near scaffolding.
Employees shall not climb cross braces or end frames unless end frames are designed to be climbed;
o When scaffold platforms are more than 2 feet above or below a point of access, an access ladder, stair tower, or equivalent safe access shall be provided for all scaffolding.
Do not use a ladder or other device on scaffolding platforms to increase height or reach.
Never use scaffolding until it is inspected and signed off by a competent person.
At the beginning of each shift scaffolding must be inspected by a competent person.
- Use the Daily Scaffold Inspection tags.
- The tag must be hung where the employees access the scaffold.
Assembling and Disassembling Scaffolding:
Scaffolding must be plumb and level.
Wheels or base plates must be used to establish a firm, level base. Mud sills must be used if the scaffolding is constructed on soft or unstable ground.
Where people are required to work or pass under or near any scaffolding, a mesh screen shall be provided between the toeboard and the top guardrail.
Planks shall not extend over the end supports less than 6 inches or more than 12 inches.
- Free‐standing scaffolding towers shall not be higher than four times the maximum base dimension unless adequately secured to a suitable structure.
Before a scaffold job begins, all workers should receive training on that particular scaffolding system and on any required personal fall protection equipment including its inspection, use, and replacement. Workers should practice safe behaviors on scaffolding at all times.
Don’t Fall Down on The Job…Know How to Use Scaffolds Safely!
Download flyer: SMOTW_503_Working Safely from Scaffolding.pdf (602.04 kb)
Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_503_Working Safely from Scaffolding_esp.pdf (598.78 kb)